16 of the best staycations under 1 hour from London

weekend trips from london weekend breaks from london
16 best weekend trips from London Cliveden House

London might be the place where everything's happening but it's also great to get out of the capital once in a while and nothing says 'escape' like weekend trips from London that remind us of how beautiful Britain's coast and country really are.

While the Lake District, Scottish Highlands and Cornwall are some of the loveliest places for a staycation, there are wonderful locations and hotels outside London that are close to town but feel a world away, offering natural scenery, fresh air and plenty of space to breathe.

Cambridge and Oxford are excellent options for weekend trips near London if you're after a city, break while Surrey is home to an array of country house retreats.

With UK breaks that allow us to fully get away from it all in mind, we've picked a few of the best places for weekend breaks from London that take less than an hour to reach by car or train.

So, grab your weekend bag and head for the hills (or beach, or riverbanks) to these beautiful staycation spots for a fabulous weekend away from London. Check out our pick of the top weekend trips from London for 2024.

Mitre Hotel, Surrey - 40 minutes from Waterloo by train

This charming hotel that sits on the banks of the River Thames might only be 40 minutes from London but it feels a world away. You'll feel your stresses melt away from the moment you step through the Mitre's doors as you snuggle up with a whisky from the honesty bar in the cosy Library or head for the chic 1665 Riverside Brasserie to feast on oysters and steak. On a sunny day, you'll feel like you're somewhere as glamorous as St Tropez, and if it rains, the in-room roll-top bathtubs call your name.

If you're after an elegant yet homely place to stay for a weekend trip from London, The Mitre is as warm and stylish as they come. Here, everyone's welcome (including the dog!) and it's jam-packed with history (Hampton Court Palace is just opposite), while providing everything you could require when escaping from the city: top-notch dining, beautiful spaces (don't miss the sun-drenched terrace in summer) and friendly faces.



weekend trips from london
Mitre Hotel

Artist Residence Brighton, East Sussex - 55 minutes from Victoria by train

Soak up the epic views of Brighton's coastline from this cool townhouse in iconic Regency Square. Just under an hour away, this coastal city is the perfect weekend trip from London.

Nestled directly opposite the old pier and i360 tower, Artist Residence Brighton is complete with quirks and unexpected surprises. Some rooms have been decorated by local artists, while others have been designed in-house using rustic vintage furniture.



Weekend trips from London - Brighton
Artist Residence Brighton

Boys Hall, Kent - 59 minutes from St Pancras by train

A 59-minute train journey from London St Pancras, Boys Hall on the leafy outskirts of Ashford is a glorious place for a weekend escape from the Smoke, especially if you have an epicurean bent. Enjoy a glass of local fizz on the sunny terrace, lose yourself around the scented wild English garden or get cosy over a game of Scrabble and a spicy Margarita in the oak-panelled lounge.

However, it's worth getting on that train just for the food. Showcasing the very best produce from the Garden of England, dine out on zesty delights such as burrata with garden peas, mint, lemon oil and broad beans or charred cod with butter curry, mango and chilli salsa, or maybe try a rare breeds T-bone pork chop cooked on an asado-style grill, all served with local Kent wines in the beamed dining room in the 17th-century Manor House. After dinner, hunker down in one of nine heavenly suites. Words: Tracey Davies


weekend trips from london
Courtesy of the hotel

Cliveden House, Berkshire - 45 minutes from Ealing by car

It might have hosted royalty but you don't need to be a duke or duchess to spend the night at the opulent Cliveden House. Ideal for splurging on a luxury weekend away from London, this unique country house is set in 376 glorious acres of formal gardens and woodland.

It's wonderful for a royal-inspired short break, with the most glamorous and decadent spaces imaginable. Don't miss the sanctuary that is the Cliveden Spa, which offers the ultimate escape - think indoor and outdoor pools with beautiful settings. And when it's sunny, you must enjoy a dip in the outdoor pool or a long soak in the hot tubs overlooked by Cliveden's stunning clocktower.



Weekend trips from London - Cliveden House
Cliveden House

Converted Barn House, Surrey - 40 minutes from Heathrow by car

A traditional barn in the woodlands of the Surrey Hills near the market town of Dorking, where only walkers and horse riders make up the traffic, this is a fabulous home from home outside of London.

A pool table for entertainment, three bedrooms and beautiful features, like the exposed beams and picturesque garden, make this one place you'll love for a weekend getaway with friends or family.


Weekend trips from London - Surrey Hills

Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, Oxfordshire - 45 minutes from Marylebone by train

When it comes to foodie weekend trips from London, the utterly lush Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons sure knows how to deliver. Brought to us lucky gourmands by the legend that is Raymond Blanc, this dream-like hotel close to the village of Great Milton in Oxfordshire is a paradise for those who love dining, cooking and learning about food.

The seven-course tasting menu at the restaurant is a must, if you want to experience the Michelin-starred chef's incredible French cuisine in a thoroughly British setting. Many of the seasonal ingredients are plucked straight from Le Manoir's sprawling kitchen garden, which you can enjoy strolling during your stay.

Then there's the Raymond Blanc Cookery School, which offers one of the most memorable cooking experiences you'll ever have. Here, you'll learn from chefs who work closely with Raymond Blanc with Le Manoir's kitchen staff working next door.




Weekend trips from London - Oxfordshire
Paul Wilkinson

The Flint House, Buckinghamshire - 36 minutes by car from Hammersmith

Sleeping 15 people, this beautiful detached farmhouse in Beaconsfield is ideal for a group girls' holiday or family weekend. Think art deco meets country glamour in the gorgeous retreat set in 2,000 acres of farm and woodland.

Beyond its imposing façade, there’s a drawing room with a lavish fireplace, a kitchen (the hub of the house) and spacious dining room, perfect for long lazy meals. The Chiltern Hills offer miles of walking paths for when you want to get out and about.


Weekend trips from London - Buckinghamshire

Sopwell House, Hertfordshire - 42 minutes from St Pancras by train and bus

A stunning Georgian manor house in St. Albans' lush countryside, Sopwell House makes for the perfect weekend break from London. With two restaurants, an elegant cocktail lounge and conservatory bar, all of which look out on 12 acres of beautiful gardens, you have plenty of spaces to soak up the views.

Cottonmill, its spa, has its own garden featuring private hot tubs and a fire pit, along with a panoramic sauna, salt and botanical steam rooms and dining.


Weekend trips from London - Hertfordshire
Sopwell House

Hotel Du Vin Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire - One hour from Paddington by train

There are few more idyllic locations for a hotel than this: nestled in the Chilterns, in the heart of the 12th century market town anda stone’s throw from the banks of the River Thames. Hotel Du Vin Henley-on-Thames is a reincarnation of a 300-year-old brewery, successfully blending Georgian period detail with stylish contemporary furnishings.

Drinks and alfresco meals in the courtyard are a highlight, as are the walks, boutiques and boating experiences available on your doorstep.



weekend trips from london
Hotel Du Vin

Pennyhill Park, Surrey - One hour from Waterloo by car

The luxurious Pennyhill Park sits in a grand 18th-century manor, with a spa and a four AA Rosette restaurant headed by Michelin-starred chef Steve Smith. You can swim to the sound of underwater music in one of the spa’s eight pools, and sip Champagne in the outdoor tub -waiters are on hand to serve drinks in and around the pools.

You'll also want to enjoy a superb dinner in The Latymer restaurant and learn about the provenance of the artistically presented dishes



weekend trips from london

Castle Hotel, Windsor - 35 minutes from Paddington by train

The perfect place for a royal-inspired mini-break, Windsor is where you can explore the amazing Windsor Castle and see the red deer of Windsor Great Park. At the Castle Hotel, you can watch the Changing the Guard and relax in a fantastic location opposite Windsor Castle.

When you're not soaking up the royal sites, the boutique hotel steeped in history has afternoon tea created in honour of Captain Sir Tom Moore and restaurant Leaf, where you can feast on dishes inspired by nature. There's an alfresco terrace for sipping cocktails in the sun, too.


Weekend trips from London - Windsor
Adrian Wroth

The Dundas Arms, Berkshire - 55 minutes from Paddington by train

Perched in the charming town of Kintbury, this 18th century Grade II listed inn is an idyllic retreat for a weekend by the river. The pub with rooms has just eight rooms decorated in a gorgeous country house style.

Many of the bedrooms come with their own private terrace overlooking the canal, where you can sit back and enjoy breakfast the next morning or a sundowner in the early evening.


Weekend trips from London - The Dundas Arms
The Dundas Arms

University Arms, Cambridge - 55 minutes from King's Cross by train

The city of punting and ancient colleges, Cambridge makes for a splendid mini-break if you're looking to get out of London without escaping to somewhere totally remote.

At landmark hotel University Arms, there are views over Parker’s Piece and historic Regent Street from your city centre location. Inside, you'll find playfully designed rooms, a destination restaurant and stylish bar to complete your romantic weekend away.


weekend trips from london cambridge
Simon Brown

Rocksalt Rooms, Folkestone - 54 minutes from St Pancras by train

For a weekend away from London by the sea, head to Folkestone in Kent and reward yourself with a meal at Rocksalt, an acclaimed restaurant that helpfully has rooms attached. The restaurant is right by the harbour, so you can enjoy views of the Channel while you dine on dishes such as Rye Bay scallops with apple and celery beurre blanc, Folkestone crab with sherry caramel, and baked mussels with Kent cider.

There’s a terrace to enjoy during the summer – and since you’ll be in one of the sunniest parts of England, the chances of good weather are in your favour.


weekend trips from london update folkestone
Courtesy of Rocksalt

The Grove, Hertfordshire - 20 minutes by train from London Euston

So close to the capital that you barely have to leave it, the Grove is in Chandler’s Cross in Hertfordshire, reached via a 20-minute rail journey from Euston to Watford Junction and a swift taxi ride. You can also travel to Rickmansworth from London Marylebone. The proximity doesn’t mean it’s suburban, though – instead, it has its own ‘beach’, by the pool in the expansive (by which we mean 300-acre) grounds.

The hotel, in the former seat of the Earls of Clarendon, is popular with actors filming in nearby Elstree Studios. We’re sure they’re fans of the Bamford spa, championship golf course and assorted restaurants.


weekend trips from london hertfordshire
Courtesy of the hotel

Monkey Island Estate, Berkshire - 29 minutes by train from London Paddington

The Home Counties provide lots of opportunities for easy weekending from London – and if you want to feel worlds away from the capital, this riverside Berkshire retreat is an excellent choice. Your total transit time might even be shorter than a Tube journey: hop on a train out of Paddington to Maidenhead and you’ll be a 10-minute cab ride from Monkey Island Estate.

The hotel is on an island on the River Thames, close to fine-dining enclave Bray, the Royal Windsor Racecourse and Windsor itself. The seven-acre estate has private residences for groups or families, along with the main hunting lodge, which has a serious roll call of famous former guests, including Edward Elgar, HG Wells and Siegfried Sassoon.


weekend trips from london update
Courtesy of the hotel

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